Of the many world heritage sites acknowledged in Spain by UNESCO, a whopping nine of them can be found in Barcelona. The prestigious international recognition is given by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to sites considered of outstanding universal value.
Whether you’re an architecture expert or just want to see some of the most amazing constructions in the world, these beautiful buildings by Catalan Modernist architects Domènech i Montaner and Antoni Gaudí, are well worth stopping by when in Barcelona.
1. Palau de la Música Catalana
Domènech i Montaner makes his designs come to life with this massive music box of Catalan Art Nouveau built between 1905 and 1908. Enjoy a concert by the symphonic orchestra or simply admire the magnificent colours on both the interior and exterior of the building.
2. Casa Milà
Commonly known as “La Pedrera”, this building one of Gaudí’s earlier works. With not one wall inside built perfectly straight, Casa Milà is a unique place to experience Gaudí’s inspiring creations. Try not to miss out on taking a walk on the terrace to see his soldier-shaped chimneys up close.
3. Casa Vicens
As Gaudí’s first major commission in Barcelona, but possibly the least well-known, Casa Vicens is a private residence located in the Gràcia district. The home was built with red-colored bricks, undressed stone, and vivid ceramic tiles, using Oriental and Eastern styles as inspiration.
4. Palau Güell
Located just off Las Ramblas, Palau Güell is one of the earliest works of Antoni Gaudí. Originally meant to be a building of many purposes with exposition rooms, event rooms, and apartments, the Palau contains sleeping quarters and on the lower level and even a ramp for horses leading to the stables in the basement. Pay extra close attention to the magnificent iron detailings that decorate the entrance.
5. Sagrada Familia
Construction began on Spain’s most visited monument in 1882. La Sagrada Familia church is set to be finished in 2026, and over a century of construction has turned it into a captivating symbol for the city of Barcelona. Every detail on the exterior and interior of the church acts as an architectural explanation of the teachings of the gospel. There may be a long queue to enter the church, but you will be able to see the new sections added and it’s worth the wait! Alternatively, you can relax on the grass and enjoy the view in one of the two adjoining parks.
6. Park Güell
This public park designed by Gaudí gives visitors a breathtaking view of the city. A mosaic-covered dragon in the middle of the stairway greets guests as they walk on towards the Hypostyle Room, the Austria Gardens, and up to the iconic mosaic-covered bench overlooking all of Barcelona.
7.Hospital de la Creu i Sant Pau
Believing that bright colors and aspects of nature were the best remedy, Domènech i Montaner designed Sant Pau to be a center for nursing the sick. To this day, it is still used as a hospital, but over the years it has developed into the largest Modernist establishment in the world. The breathtaking garden, mosaics and artwork, make a visit to this architectural marvel a must.
8.The Crypt of Colonia Güell
Gaudí’s patron, Eusebi Güell, imagined creating an industrialized colony that would be able to support the lives of his workers and their families. A place for education, a church, and a recreational area were all accounted for. The Güell Crypt was intended to be Gaudí’s experiment for his architectural innovations that he would later apply to Sagrada Familia. The characteristic archways and the decorative elements mix together in a attempt which is at the same time aesthetic and symbolic.
Antoni Gaudí put his imagination to work in the designing of Casa Batlló. The exterior is covered with beautiful mosaic fragments of all different colors of glass and ceramics in his signature trencadís style. The roof of the façade is shaped like the back of an animal with large scales down the edge, giving it the shape of a dragon.